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Some find it almost impossible not to draw comparisons with Champagne when considering this category, demoting the sparklers to a sort of cheap Champagne substitute (the one exception is the English variant which is right up there for quality and made using the same varieties) instead of regarding them as worthwhile individual wines in their own right. However this is unfair as these are all well made and each has a story to tell. We can't all afford regular infusions of Champagne which, anyway, is not always suitable. A simple toast or casual aperitif, entertaining without hassle or what the French call une verre pour l'amitie are all perfectly well-served by a decent sparkler. For a pleasant variation, try the one you most like the sound of with a little splash of Cassis or Two Birds Raspberry or Passion Fruit Vodka for a delicious pre-dinner livener.